Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1694466
jaycee58 wrote:
As for studying, yes I agree that there are a surprising number of people who regard the TK as just a massive hurdle to overcome and have no interest in actually learning anything This appears to be pretty rife among some of the younger people taking ATPL, in fact the attitude of some I've met at the ground schools, given that they want to be professional airline pilots, is sometimes quite shocking.

Young people now are brought up in an environment where the only reason to study is to get good grades, and the concept of studying to enjoy or master a subject is almost totally lost.

It isn't their fault - it's the fault of people aged 35-70 who created a world and school environment that way. We have let them down badly.

G
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By Fairflyer5
#1695374
jaycee58 wrote:
defcribed wrote:Perhaps this is why many people treat the question bank as the primary study aid and relegate the training materials to second place?

I thought you could appeal off-syllabus questions individually and get them credited?


I'm about to discuss this over the phone with the head of my training provider but there were so many questions that I hadn't studied for that, with the exception of three or four, I'm hard pushed to remember what the questions actually were.

As for studying, yes I agree that there are a surprising number of people who regard the TK as just a massive hurdle to overcome and have no interest in actually learning anything This appears to be pretty rife among some of the younger people taking ATPL, in fact the attitude of some I've met at the ground schools, given that they want to be professional airline pilots, is sometimes quite shocking.


As a "young person", I have to really disagree with your take on the situation.

The EASA ATPL hurdle is designed to be exactly that, a cash grabbing hurdle that keeps as many students in it's grasp for as long as possible. I would be willing to bet that many "young" students are incredibly interested in the theory, I know I am. But that's not the challenge. EASA and the UK CAA don't give a damn how much I enjoy the content, and the tests are not created to fairly evaluate your understanding of the content, as you so unfairly have found out. For an example, I found radio navigation a very fascinating subject, as it was one that I knew very little about going into it. Learning how VOR's work, DME, everything.

What is tested though? It's random facts and trivia of how many satellites in the GLONASS constellation or at what declination do they orbit, or which type of modulation is used for a certain tool. Okay. Am I as a pilot, while prepping for an approach going to brief with my crew which modulation they're sending us the ATIS on? ....... this is why we all bash the banks. Because the exams aren't built to promote me to learn the content. If I learn the content, and go take the exam, I will most certainly fail. Because most of the exam questions don't just ask you for your understanding of a topic.

You have to bash the banks to pass. It's the only way. So why blame "young people" for trying to pass their exams and not have to resit all 14 because they failed too many times in the stupidly limiting 6 sitting format they decided on. EASA created the game, "we" are playing it so we can get through it and actually begin our careers.......
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By jaycee58
#1695390
Fairflyer5 wrote:
As a "young person", I have to really disagree with your take on the situation.

The EASA ATPL hurdle is designed to be exactly that, a cash grabbing hurdle that keeps as many students in it's grasp for as long as possible. I would be willing to bet that many "young" students are incredibly interested in the theory, I know I am. But that's not the challenge. EASA and the UK CAA don't give a damn how much I enjoy the content, and the tests are not created to fairly evaluate your understanding of the content, as you so unfairly have found out. For an example, I found radio navigation a very fascinating subject, as it was one that I knew very little about going into it. Learning how VOR's work, DME, everything.

What is tested though? It's random facts and trivia of how many satellites in the GLONASS constellation or at what declination do they orbit, or which type of modulation is used for a certain tool. Okay. Am I as a pilot, while prepping for an approach going to brief with my crew which modulation they're sending us the ATIS on? ....... this is why we all bash the banks. Because the exams aren't built to promote me to learn the content. If I learn the content, and go take the exam, I will most certainly fail. Because most of the exam questions don't just ask you for your understanding of a topic.

You have to bash the banks to pass. It's the only way. So why blame "young people" for trying to pass their exams and not have to resit all 14 because they failed too many times in the stupidly limiting 6 sitting format they decided on. EASA created the game, "we" are playing it so we can get through it and actually begin our careers.......


I wasn't bashing young people per se or blaming them for anything, and I'm certainly not suggesting that a majority of people, young, middle-aged or old, have this attitude but having said that, another one turned up on the FaceBook ATPL Students group just the other day, telling people he wasn't using books at all, just "learning" by doing questions! As has been pointed out to him, this is one of the main reasons why KSA100 will be introduced, particularly as a study found that only around 8% of newly-minted pilots had an adequate understanding of the theoretical knowledge acquired on the course. The industry appears to have concerns that students can pass the exams without adequate study or just learning answers by heart and EASA have clearly acknowledged this which is why a major overhaul of the examination system is on its way. Surely a professional in any job needs to have a basic level of knowledge? Just memorising questions and their answers is not learning and it definitely does not encourage understanding of a subject. I suspect most of the people who do this will be caught out at their first job interview when they get asked a question and the interviewer doesn't give them 4 choices. I hope so as I don't really want to be on an airliner with them in the cockpit.

Yes, you have to bash the question banks. Everybody does it (I've taken some time out from doing it to write this) and, as you point out, it's probably the only way to pass but it really shouldn't be your only source of knowledge. And yes, there's an awful lot of useless junk in there.

Anyway, good luck with your studies...damned hard going at times, isn't it (well it is when you're 61) :(
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By defcribed
#1695563
Fairflyer5 wrote:As a "young person", I have to really disagree with your take on the situation.

The EASA ATPL hurdle is designed to be exactly that, a cash grabbing hurdle that keeps as many students in it's grasp for as long as possible. I would be willing to bet that many "young" students are incredibly interested in the theory, I know I am. But that's not the challenge. EASA and the UK CAA don't give a damn how much I enjoy the content, and the tests are not created to fairly evaluate your understanding of the content, as you so unfairly have found out. For an example, I found radio navigation a very fascinating subject, as it was one that I knew very little about going into it. Learning how VOR's work, DME, everything.

What is tested though? It's random facts and trivia of how many satellites in the GLONASS constellation or at what declination do they orbit, or which type of modulation is used for a certain tool. Okay. Am I as a pilot, while prepping for an approach going to brief with my crew which modulation they're sending us the ATIS on? ....... this is why we all bash the banks. Because the exams aren't built to promote me to learn the content. If I learn the content, and go take the exam, I will most certainly fail. Because most of the exam questions don't just ask you for your understanding of a topic.

You have to bash the banks to pass. It's the only way. So why blame "young people" for trying to pass their exams and not have to resit all 14 because they failed too many times in the stupidly limiting 6 sitting format they decided on. EASA created the game, "we" are playing it so we can get through it and actually begin our careers.......


Fair comment I think. I am considering doing them myself, partly as an exercise in seeing what all the fuss is about and partly in case I need a backup career if the pharmaceutical industry takes a kicking from Brexit. First I need a Class 1 medical though.

Remember that the 'exams' are multiple choice, and it's hard (even impossible) to set multiple choice tests that do anything other than test simple fact retention. I use the word test because I don't think multiple choice is a format worthy of the word exam. I couldn't believe it when I first found out that the ATPL exams were multiple choice. I laughed even harder when some people tried to convince me that ATPL theory was the equivalent of a rigorous three-year academic degree.

I find the material incredibly interesting and my way of learning is to understand fundamental principles, but that doesn't help you with random factoid retention. I guess I'll have to learn the principles and the factoids.

It acts as a commitment-based barrier to entry - a test of how much you want it. One can argue about the ups and downs of that. When I first learned about this, it did surprise me somewhat that there is no academic barrier to entry whatsoever. I had assumed that perhaps you needed a science degree, or at least a couple of A-levels.
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By derekf
#1695564
Remember that the 'exams' are multiple choice, and it's hard (even impossible) to set multiple choice tests that do anything other than test simple fact retention. I use the word test because I don't think multiple choice is a format worthy of the word exam. I couldn't believe it when I first found out that the ATPL exams were multiple choice.


There are now quite a few questions where you need to type an answer as opposed to multi choice - especially performance, W&B with some gnat etc where you need to find a numeric answer and type it in.
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By defcribed
#1695566
derekf wrote:
Remember that the 'exams' are multiple choice, and it's hard (even impossible) to set multiple choice tests that do anything other than test simple fact retention. I use the word test because I don't think multiple choice is a format worthy of the word exam. I couldn't believe it when I first found out that the ATPL exams were multiple choice.


There are now quite a few questions where you need to type an answer as opposed to multi choice - especially performance, W&B with some gnat etc where you need to find a numeric answer and type it in.


That's progress I suppose!

I have 'fond' memories of the PPL nav exam with badly printed excerpts from charts where you were supposed to physically measure this barely-legible chart and calculate something to other to 1 degree. As if either a PPL student or the decrepit directional gyro in a club PA28 were capable of flying to 1 degree...

You'd measure it to the best of your ability, run the wind calcs and come up with an answer of say 326 degrees. Then you looked at the multiple choice answers, which were 325, 327, 133 and 131.

Fun and games! :roll:
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By PeteSpencer
#1695572
Think yourself lucky that the exams aren’t like the multiple choice exams for part 1 of my first post graduate exam(pass rate 25%) in the 1970s where a wrong answer was awarded a minus mark . Hitting a pass level was bloody difficult.

Peter :wink:
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By TLRippon
#1695590
Defcribed,

I think if you do take an ATPL course you may have a different viewpoint afterwards.
I met one of the ATPL students I knew from ground school who has just finished after 18 months part time study. His FP exam had 15 text box questions. It is not simple at all.
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By defcribed
#1695610
I didn't say it was simple - it's probably quite challenging in it's own way.

What I contest is that it properly tests understanding.

Someone earlier wrote that industry decided that some ludicrously low percentage of new ATPLs had sufficient theoretical understanding for their liking. That's entirely believeable, and indicative of a poor system rather than students having the wrong attitude. Students will always just do what is necessary to pass, especially when there is no academic barrier to entry.
By cockney steve
#1695631
It is around 20 years since I used to pax with my mate in the Aeronca Chief, 152 /172. (yes, we had a wealthy friend who was very generous when sharing his toys! )

I became keen on the idea of flying myself and to that end, bought and read a set of Trevor Thoms books (secondhand, because i'm tight) Eventually, With 3 young kids and a relationship disintegrating, I couldn't justify that level of self- indulgence.....however, I found an online test website and gave it a go.

Surprisingly I achieved a pass-mark on several of the exams, despite never having any formal training.

I have never considered multi-choice questions to be a fair test of knowledge, most of my answers, in the less- interesting subjects, were educated, deduced guesses :oops:
Exams at school were all based on questions that required the student to formulate an answer, based on their knowledge and understanding of the subject.. multi- choice will , theoretically, produce a percentage of correct answers directly related to the number of options, even if the examinee has zero knowledge or understanding of the subject.
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By defcribed
#1695654
cockney steve wrote:It is around 20 years since I used to pax with my mate in the Aeronca Chief, 152 /172. (yes, we had a wealthy friend who was very generous when sharing his toys! )

I became keen on the idea of flying myself and to that end, bought and read a set of Trevor Thoms books (secondhand, because i'm tight) Eventually, With 3 young kids and a relationship disintegrating, I couldn't justify that level of self- indulgence.....however, I found an online test website and gave it a go.

Surprisingly I achieved a pass-mark on several of the exams, despite never having any formal training.

I have never considered multi-choice questions to be a fair test of knowledge, most of my answers, in the less- interesting subjects, were educated, deduced guesses :oops:
Exams at school were all based on questions that required the student to formulate an answer, based on their knowledge and understanding of the subject.. multi- choice will , theoretically, produce a percentage of correct answers directly related to the number of options, even if the examinee has zero knowledge or understanding of the subject.


Couldn't agree more Steve. Even if you just select an answer at random, you get 25% of the questions right. In reality it is higher, because one of the answers is usually absurd or obviously wrong. And if you need 75% to pass, it isn't a big gap to bridge.

Speaking very frankly, I found it somewhat bizarre that people paid for groundschool for the PPL. I think perhaps it is mandated now? It wasn't when I did it. A quick play with the likes of AirQuiz to get an idea of the sorts of questions one is going to be asked, read the books, sit the tests.